International Interns

International Interns support the mission of the Fulbright-Hays Act as part of the Exchange Visitor Program which fosters global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges. International Interns come to the United States in J-1 status. Interns are not “employees” in the traditional sense; rather, they are foreign university students or recent graduates of foreign universities who are seeking to enhance their skills through work-based learning. As the intern’s supervisor, you will assist him/her in gaining those skills and building knowledge of American techniques, methodologies and technology.

Interns may be paid, but payment is not a requirement of the internship. Interns must be regularly supervised and mentored throughout the internship, which can last between 3 weeks and 12 months. They must meet the goals set forth in the Trainee/Intern Participation Plan which you and your intern will complete together, and they must be evaluated at regular intervals. You will work closely with the intern and with the International Student and Scholar Advising (ISSA) throughout the internship. It is also important to note that all exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program in order to share their exchange experiences.

Interns come in J-1 status under the Department of State to foster global understanting.  They are expected to participate in social and cultural activities to learn about Americans and the U.S. as well as teach Americans about their countries and culture, with the hope they establish long-lasting relationships.

Only requests for interns made by an academic department will be considered. Please email for more information.

PLEASE NOTE: Departments who wish to invite an intern for placement at Penn State should contact ISSA at least three months in advance of the expected start of the internship.  There is a good deal of paperwork involved before we can issue form DS-2019.